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Table of Contents

Memories of the Bureau, 1946 to 1962





Chapter 1: The Warren Years, 1946 to 1950

Chapter 2: International Meteorology

Chapter 3: The Timcke Years, 1950 to 1955

Chapter 4: A Year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Chapter 5: The Dwyer Years, 1955 to 1962
Leonard Joseph Dwyer—A Complex Character
Reorganising the Bureau
Public Weather Services
Forecasts for the General Public
Importance of Radio Stations
The Advent of Television
Automatic Telephone Forecast Service
Wording and Verification of Forecasts
Services for Aviation
Atomic Weapons Tests
Atomic Weapons Tests—Mosaic G1 and G2
Atomic Weapons Tests—Buffalo 1, 2, 3 and 4
Atomic Weapons Tests—Operations Antler, 2 and 3
Atomic Weapons Tests—Minor Trials
Instruments and Observations
Radar/Radio Winds and Radar Weather Watch
Automatic Weather Stations
Meteorological Satellites
Tropical Cyclones
Bureau Conference on Tropical Cyclones
International Symposium on Tropical Cyclones, Brisbane
Design of Water Storages, Etc
Flood Forecasting
Cloud Seeding
Reduction of Evaporation
Rain Seminar
Cloud Physics
Fire Weather
Research and Special Investigations
International Activities
The International Geophysical Year
The Antarctic and Southern Ocean
International Symposium on Antarctic Meteorology
International Antarctic Analysis Centre
ADP, EDP and Computers
Management Conference
Services Conference
CSIRO and the Universities
Achievements of the Dwyer Years

Chapter 6: A Springboard for the Future

Appendix 1: References

Appendix 2: Reports, Papers, Manuscripts

Appendix 3: Milestones

Appendix 4: Acknowledgements

Appendix 5: Summary by H. N. Warren of the Operation of the Meteorological Section of Allied Air Headquarters, Brisbane, 1942–45



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Cloud Seeding (continued)

Early in 1947 Eric was recruited by the CSIRO in London. On his way to Australia he was asked to visit various research institutions in the US including Langmuir's laboratory in Schenectady. On arrival in Sydney Eric teamed up with Pat Squires and they organised the previously mentioned spectacularly successful cloud seeding experiment. Although Taffy Bowen was enthusiastically optimistic Eric was sceptical, believing that rain-making would not be commercially feasible. Eric was also out of sorts because before leaving London he had been led to believe that Taffy was arranging for CSIRO to develop a new section for meteorological research and that Eric would become chief of the section. Taffy, sceptical of the Bureau's scientific capability, had vigorously argued for CSIRO to take over the research role in meteorology. In the event Bill Priestley was appointed to the new Meteorological Section of CSIRO, an appointment which Eric believes was well deserved.

Eric's scepticism regarding Taffy's claims and his disappointment at not receiving the promised role of chief of the Meteorological Section of CSIRO caused some tension between them. Eric's appointment with the CSIRO Division of Radiophysics was terminated.

Eric bought a fruit farm in the Blue Mountains and worked as operations manager with BCPA for a while before moving to Cooma in 1952 after his appointment as a meteorologist with SMHEA. Eric took a year's leave in 1955–56 to work for WMO/UN in Africa and on his return to Cooma found that during his absence Taffy Bowen's cloud seeding group had carried out a large cloud seeding exercise in the Snowy Mountains for which they claimed spectacular success. I believe that at this stage Pat Squires had avoided cloud seeding operations and was engaged in a highly successful research project in cloud physics.

Eric says that he examined the results of the seeding and could not find any sound statistical evidence to support the CSIRO claims. Somewhat imprudently he reported his conclusions to an international cloud physics conference in Canberra. Eric states that the CSIRO hierarchy pressed Sir William Hudson, Chief of SMHEA, to repudiate Eric's statement which Sir William refused to do. In the meantime Sir Marcus Oliphant had offered Eric an appointment in Canberra which was withdrawn after what Eric believes were representations from the CSIRO. Eric decided he had no future in Australia and after winning the 1960–61 Rossby Fellowship at Woods Hole he received a permanent appointment at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute whence he proceeded to further meteorological research in Boulder, Colorado.

People in Bright Sparcs - Bowen, Edward George (Taffy); Dwyer, Leonard Joseph; Priestley, Charles Henry Brian (Bill); Squires, Patrick

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Gibbs, W. J. 1999 'A Very Special Family: Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1946 to 1962', Metarch Papers, No. 13 May 1999, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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